French Whisky Label Alfred Giraud Drifts Into Experimental Whisky Territory

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / November 10, 2020

Boutique French whisky brand Alfred Giraud is aiming to bring to its niche of the whisk(e)y world the know how of cognac distillation, but in whisky form. The family behind it have long been in the French brandy business, having over 100 years of expertise as “coopers and cellar masters at a renowned maison de cognac.” We reviewed their first two core expressions earlier this year, and now they’ve recently ventured in more experimental territory with their new Exploratory Blends range.

The new Alfred Giraud Exploratory Blends line up, according to those behind it, aims to be a curation of “the finest single malts to blend in rare or distinctive casks sourced by the Giraud family. These blends traverse all of France, using unique ex-wine and spirits casks, as well as woods not typically used to age spirits.” The first of these, named Voyage, is a blend of two single malts that have been aged in Sauternes wine and French Robinia casks.

Voyage by Alfred Giraud

Voyage by Alfred Giraud (image via Alfred Giraud)

Information from Alfred Giraud indicates that “the Sauternes casks give notes of custard, sweet grapes and acacia honey. Robinia, a powerful wood that requires skills to balance, is seldom used in whisky. It gives notes of white flower.” These two whiskies, having been blended, are said as well to have a final aging in cognac cask before being bottled at 48% ABV.

Voyage by Alfred Giraud looks to be a very small release, pricing at €145, or around $175 USD. It is of natural color and non-chill filtered, presented in the same stylish bottle look as the two core whiskies. Official tasting notes are below.

  • Nose: White flower, custard and honey, balanced with black currant and ripe grapes.
  • Palate: Soft and round with a sophisticated sweetness. Matured sweet grape, fresh flower and acacia honey are balanced by a bold structure.
  • Finish: Luxurious mouth feel, sweet floral complexity with a slight presence of wood on the finish.

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